Thursday, December 01, 2005

8 Types of Navigation Pages

Driving users to your content should be a simple one-click process. But many content rich sites do not behave that way. In this article by Jared Spool, user testing and observation has revealed 8 types of navigation pages. Landing pages, galleries, search pages, and others sometimes appear instead of the actual content page. Any large site like Amazon or eBay, without using the search feature, can be a multi-tier process before a user gets to the actual content they were originally looking for.

As the author points out, it's important to understand each type of navigation page to be able to engage the user and steer them correctly to what they are looking for. One user's experience with a given site will influence their expectations for navigation schemes in another site. When the user's expectations are not met then the navigation fails.

Direct access to content is not always possible on content rich sites. Therefore you may want to implement a gallery or department page, depending on the nature of your business, to promote a logical approach to your link hierarchy. As always, test the user experience and get as much feedback you can.


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